August 13, 2008 |
Andrew Cherng remembers pacing through his Chinese restaurant in Pasadena wondering whether any customers would show. It was a difficult time. He had borrowed from family members and the Small Business Administration to open the eatery and had debts to pay. "People would stick their heads in and leave," Cherng recalled. His mother went out and sprinkled the sidewalk with salt, a Chinese custom to expel negative energy. It worked. Thirty-five years later, Cherng, 61, and his wife, Peggy, control one of the largest family-owned fast-food empires in America.