Olive Garden is testing two different types of dishes — small plates and family-style dinners. Darden Restaurants Inc., which has been struggling to win back customers, says it's expanding its test of “Taste of Italy Small Plates” that cost between $4 and $5 at Olive Garden. Justin Sikora, a spokesman, says the idea is to cater to the dining habits of Millennials, or people in their 20s and 30s. To cater to families, Olive Garden also started testing a $30 dinner deal for a party of four on weeknights in seven markets, including Omaha. The deal includes two family-style platters.
Sprint OKs deal with SoftBank
Sprint Nextel Corp. shareholders approved a $21.6 billion deal with Tokyo-based SoftBank Corp., giving the Japanese company control over the third-largest U.S. wireless carrier. About 98 percent of the votes cast favored the transaction, Overland Park, Kan.-based Sprint said Tuesday. SoftBank, which has three of the four regulatory approvals needed to do the Sprint deal, still requires a final nod from the U.S. Federal Communications Commission.
Losses mount for Barnes & Noble
Barnes & Noble says its loss more than doubled in the latest quarter as it continued losing money in its Nook e-book reader unit and sales plummeted at its bookstores. The largest traditional U.S. bookseller said it sold fewer Nook devices and that digital content sales for the readers also fell 9 percent for the quarter. To limit its manufacturing risks and reduce losses, Barnes & Noble said it will work with a yet-to-be-announced third party to make its tablets. At its bookstores open at least a year, the company said sales fell 8.8 percent during the period.
Walgreens earnings shy of forecasts
Walgreen Co.'s fiscal third-quarter earnings jumped 16 percent compared with last year, but the performance still missed Wall Street expectations. Walgreens told analysts that sales in its stores outside the pharmacy did not meet its expectations, and it was working to fix that. It also lowered its forecast for the earnings contribution it expects from European health and beauty retailer Alliance Boots for its fourth quarter.