Winterhalter – the warewashing specialist from Meckenbeuren – is celebrating its 70th anniversary this year. For three generations this family-run company has stood for quality and reliability in the kitchen, and over the last 70 years it has shaped the market with its technical innovations.
In 1947 Karl Winterhalter founded the company “Karl Winterhalter Ing. Haushaltsgegenstände und Elektrogeräte” in Friedrichshafen. He had his first big seller, in 1949 with the legendary “Backhexe” (“baking wizard”), a portable electric oven. Ten years later came the GS 60 dishwasher and the company began to specialise in commercial warewashing. The development of the first dishwashers took place in the family home with an adjoining hut used as the first workshop. In the garden, trials were carried out on the prototype of the GS 60. Jürgen Winterhalter, son of the company founder and CEO of the Winterhalter Group, reminisces: “My mother used to rub plates with spinach and leave them to dry in the sun. Once processed through the machine, they actually ended up clean. It fascinated me.” The company’s success story began. Jürgen Winterhalter: “My father met gastronomy needs perfectly – the message of ‘clean dishes in the shortest possible time’ really appealed to this target group.” The result: Eventually mass production began followed by further manufacturing plants in Endingen (Germany) and Rüthi (Switzerland).
Internationalisation beckoned when Winterhalter opened its first branch in 1967 in Holland. It was a move that was systematically driven by Jürgen Winterhalter: “My hobbyhorse is technology, machine development and most importantly, internationalisation.”
Gradually further subsidiaries were established in Europe and Asia. To further satisfy the Asian market, a production site was established in Rayong (Thailand) in 2015. The warewashing-through-technology gene was also inherited by Ralph Winterhalter, grandson of the company founder and CEO. In his first four years he lived on the factory premises in Meckenbeuren, Germany – his playground was the production hall.
Ralph Winterhalter: “I have great respect for the life achievements of my grandfather and father. My grandfather had the courage to establish a company during testing times and, with great vision, my father developed it into a top international brand. So every businessperson has a topic they are enthusiastic about. Mine is the digital kitchen. Digitisation and networking is changing the world. We asked ourselves how we could harness digitisation to support our customers even further.”
As a result of a variety of digital optimisations and developments, Winterhalter has developed its new stateof- the-art reality called NEXT LEVEL SOLUTIONS. Ralph Winterhalter: “This is the way to secure our brand for the future and enjoy further growth and expansion.”
Today the company, with its headquarters in Meckenbeuren, employs 1,500 employees worldwide. Approximately 40 subsidiaries as well as numerous sales partners in many other countries ensure the global presence and contribute to an export ratio of over 75 percent.