The official trade fair magazine of Messe Frankfurt

A piece of German industrial history

22. Februar 2018 Autor: TOP FAIR Redaktion
Kategorie: Kitchen & Household

Rosenthal GmbH surely ranks as one of the most well-known German manufacturers of tableware throughout the world. A cornerstone of its activities – in addition to product lines for domestic users – is contract business for hotels and restaurants. The company has set up a business unit specifically for this sector. We spoke with Peter Serra, head of the Hotel & Restaurant Service for the German market, about the product range, special requirements and design.



Is there a separate Business Unit for the contract business sector (hotels, restaurants, etc.) and if so, how is it set up in terms of in-house employees and field workers?
Yes there is. It has two divisions: National and International, each with an overall sales manager and an agent network (National) and area sales managers (International), customer service and marketing department.


Could you briefly tell us about the products and ranges made specifically for this sector? Do you offer anything other than porcelain?
Rosenthal GmbH offers an extremely wide selection of porcelain, glass, cutlery, accessories and holloware developed especially for hotels and restaurants. The spectrum ranges from classic white porcelain to modern coloured series, in some cases in combination with other materials such as stone and wood. There is also the option of customisation with décors developed for specific customers. The cutlery series include classic designs made from nickel silver, award-winning ranges and sleek stainless steel sets. It is also worth noting that there are so many options available thanks to special finishes such as copper, champagne tones and vintage finishes. Four colours and four different surfaces result in 16 variations per model.


Mesh gives you so many options for combining shapes and colours.

Are there any differences compared to the “normal” series, for example to meet different customer requirement profiles?
There are indeed products that have been designed with stronger edges for use for example in particular areas of gastronomy (large kitchens, canteens, caterers, buffet and banqueting companies) or for stackability. As far as customisation is concerned, the options and the flexibility for this sales area are much greater than in “normal” retail.




Are the different brands treated ­differently (Rosenthal, Thomas, Hutschenreuther, Arthur Krupp, ­Arzberg)?
Each brand has its own target group so the range is geared to that group, and that includes the characteristics of the products.


Is it possible to have products manufactured to individual specifications and how extensive can the changes be in terms of design, colour and appearance?
Yes. Articles can be personalised at the customer’s request. Logos, décors, colours can all be changed and, provided certain conditions are met, even customers’ own developments are possible.


Tarantella bar and restaurant in Hamburg, equipped with Sambonet Imagine cutlery and ­Contour stainless steel accessories.

Which Rosenthal series are most popular in the contract business ­sector?
For Rosenthal it’s Epoque/Accenti, Jade (Fine Bone China), Mesh and Junto. For Thomas it’s Trend and Loft.


Are there any other offers in the contract business sector such as customised gift articles?
Yes, good examples include customised mugs, cups and bowls in gift packages, the oyster salt box for the Sylt salt factory and even wall tiles made of porcelain.


Corso 281 luxury suites in Rome, equipped with Rosen­thal Jade, Sambonet 12 O‘Clock and Linea Q cutlery

Are there any collaborations with famous designers in this sector? If so, can you give an example and say which products they have created?
The most well-known product is the highly versatile Mesh series by Spanish designer Gemma Bernal. She took her inspiration from in-depth discussions with the best chefs and catering academies in Spain. Mesh is an innovative dining and gourmet collection of individual articles that can be mixed and matched with enormous variety for example for tapas and buffets. A delicate mesh relief gives the distinct geometric shapes of the collection particularly a vivid and modern touch.


A brief journey through Rosenthal’s history
The history of the Rosenthal company began in 1879 when Philipp Rosenthal established a porcelain painting workshop in Erkersreuth near Selb in Bavaria.
The years that followed were eventful as Rosenthal took over other brands such as Thomas, Hutschenreuther and Arzberg and integrated them into the company’s own product portfolio. In 1950, Philip Rosenthal, the son of the founder, joined the company. Initially responsible for advertising, he was later appointed as Head of Product Design and then as Head of Sales. As CEO from 1958 to 1981, Philip Rosenthal played a major role in the development of Rosenthal AG.
The product portfolio has included many design classics over the years, and still does, notably the Berlin series created in 1959 by designer Hans Theo which continued to sell in millions right into the 1970s.
In 1961, Philip Rosenthal set a new course for product development with the creation of the Rosenthal Studio Line brand. Long before designers were in vogue, Rosenthal collaborated with contemporary artists, designers and architects, including such famous names as Raymond Loewy, Walter Gropius, Tapio Wirkkala and Sebastian Herkner, as well as fashion houses such as Versace. To date, more than 150 artists have created unique collections for Rosenthal. Around 500 design awards and numerous reference works in international museums are testament to the pioneering role that Rosenthal has played in innovative product design.
The former porcelain factory has been converted into an international enterprise dealing in sophisticated home accessories and table culture. Rosenthal porcelain is still made in Germany, but now in state-of-the-art facilities in Selb and Speichersdorf. The new “Rosenthal am Rothbühl” porcelain factory, built in 1967 based on designs by Walter Gropius, even has a place in the history of architecture. Modern production facilities and automation ensure high-precision manufacture and consistently high quality.
Since August 2009 Rosenthal has been part of the Arcturus Group which produces high-quality designer articles for the table and kitchen for both the domestic and contract sectors. The Arcturus Group also includes companies such as Sambonet, Paderno, Ercuis and Raynaud.

From the issue:

Ambiente 2018

The official trade fair magazine with the newest products and information on the trade fair. Other issues are released for the exhibitions Heimtextil, Christmasworld, Paperworld, Nordstil and Tendence.