With the innovative and stylish products from ATOLL Living Spaces GmbH (ATOLL), you can cook and eat directly at your table or even move the traditional cooking process entirely outside. The start-up of the BLANC & FISCHER Family Holding Group is thus creating new moments of pleasure and completely reinterpreting the kitchen as a living space.
EXPANDING THE KITCHEN AS A LIVING SPACE
WE’RE STILL A NICHE PRODUCT, BUT IN FIVE YEARS WE WANT TO BE AN ESTABLISHED BRAND.
Managing Director, ATOLL
This means that ATOLL is very close to the customer because no other Group company in the family holding company is geared directly to the consumer in the same way. E.G.O. is a specialist in components for the household appliance industry, and BLANCO is a leader in water hub products. To this end, ATOLL relies on a strong online presence and interaction with the customer, complemented by a showroom in Berlin, in which potential customers and interested parties can view and try out ATOLL’s table and outdoor kitchen. Customers can then use the collected ideas to individually configure the designer pieces in the online shop.
Many people like to retreat to their own four walls as a result of COVID-19, so the desire to make a cozy home is on-trend. With its two product lines, ATOLL meets the spirit of the times while simultaneously addressing the desire for individualization. “Our table and our outdoor kitchen are not off-the-peg,” explains Czemmel. Customers can put together their very own ‘cooking island’ from different surfaces, table sizes, and frames.
This also applies to the outdoor kitchen, which is based on a front cooking counter from its sister company, B.PRO. “As on the table, induction cooking is also used here. There are two built-in hobs for grilling, boiling, stewing, or pan-frying. This appeals primarily to people looking for more options, such as conventional grilling with coal or gas, or who would like to use other technologies.”
HIGH-QUALITY AND NEEDS-BASED
Daniel Czemmel and his team see the change in lifestyles, in many cases triggered by the global COVID-19 pandemic, as an opportunity. “Eating habits are changing; people are developing a more conscious approach to food. Why not design the living space to be of higher quality for hosting events at home?” he explains. “We initially only launched the outdoor kitchen virtually, thus testing the waters beforehand to see how it would be received. In the first three months, we had over 6,000 configurations. More than 100 customers have already registered for their individual outdoor kitchen. The response was unbelievable,” says Czemmel, adding: “We didn’t have a material product yet, but a digital modular system with which future customers could play around and try things out.”
There’s also a showroom in Berlin so that potential customers can get a first-hand impression of the table’s options. “With the ATOLL table, we are operating in a price segment of several thousand EUROS. It quickly became clear to us that
customers would like to see and touch such a piece of furniture,” says Daniel Czemmel. And customers are all too happy to take advantage of this opportunity.
Managing Director, ATOLL
VISIONARIES FROM ALL GROUP COMPANIES
The expertise of all company groups has been incorporated into both the outdoor kitchen and the ATOLL table. The Facility Management employees at BLANC & FISCHER Corporate Services, for example, built the prototypes of the table frames and legs. B.PRO experts developed the outdoor kitchen, and specialists from E.G.O. helped develop the special induction hobs. “Our development is a joint effort. The BLANC & FISCHER Family Holding Group companies have the combined expertise to this end.”
Daniel Czemmel knows that this is also evident in the collaboration across specialist boundaries. “Let’s say a colleague from the commercial sector is wondering how to make the cooking experience in the living area quieter. They go on to look at the technology under the table together with a colleague from Development and come up with a solution together,” says Czemmel, impressed with the dedication of his employees.
LETTING CREATIVITY RUN WILD
The prototypes of the cooking table and outdoor kitchen, as well as many ideas for their further development, were developed in interdisciplinary brainstorming sessions in the newly established Future Kitchen Lab in Oberderdingen. “All participants were able to think creatively beyond their usual remit – that’s how the best ideas come to light,” says Czemmel. In this unconventional way, ATOLL contributes to the growth and attractiveness of the entire Group. Czemmel thought the direct B2C concept would give the BLANC & FISCHER Family Holding another mainstay to make the company even more stable overall, “even if we seem to be producing niche products at first glance,” says the Managing Director of ATOLL.
A SOUND ENVIRONMENTAL FOOTPRINT
The start-up also contributes to the Group’s employer profile. “An innovative brand like ATOLL that’s also an internal start-up helps the BLANC & FISCHER-Group to communicate to the outside world that it is an attractive employer. This is good for recruiting and retaining employees and thus contributes to the growth of the family holding company,” Daniel Czemmel is certain.
ATOLL also benefits from its sister companies in the BLANC & FISCHER Family Holding in terms of sustainability. As a start-up, it can respond quickly to new requirements in the market and society, and tap into the potential that arises from the technological expertise of the other Group companies. Here too, Czemmel is optimistic: “At ATOLL, there are no limits when it comes to being creative.”
The start-up is deliberately starting small. “To start with, we’re launching our two products in Germany, Austria, and Switzerland. It’s our philosophy to be very close to the customer. That’s why we want to grow carefully,” says Czemmel. “While there are markets, especially in the outdoor kitchen segment, that are predestined for this – in the USA, for example, a lot of people like to cook outside – we still want to establish ourselves in Europe first and become a strong brand in the living segment with the ATOLL table and in the outdoor sector with our kitchen unit.”
A HIGH-TECH PIONEER
Daniel Czemmel already has other product ideas for the future. For outdoors, the kitchen can be expanded even further, for example with a sink module. “For the table, we are currently contemplating a cooking island or a kitchen worktop, and we already have a corresponding prototype in the Future Kitchen Lab. In other words, an entire kitchenette made of ceramic material with a built-in hob. This saves space in a small kitchen.” ATOLL relies on multiple layers of high-tech ceramics for the surfaces of the table. “Ceramic is the perfect material: hardly anything sticks, which makes the table an ideal worktop,” explains Czemmel. The ceramic surface is also robust and scratch-resistant and boasts high temperature stability. “The onion principle of layers allows us to install the induction plate.”
With the outdoor kitchen and above all the table, the subsidiary of the BLANC & FISCHER Family Holding is ushering in a new era of cooking. From an open fire, through to the first electric hotplate suitable for series production, to a table on which you can cook. “These are innovations that are not yet available on the market. We’re the absolute trailblazer here!”