Rational USA, which has a patented combination steam-convection oven used in the White House and at major hotels and companies nationwide, hosted a grand opening Thursday for its new North American headquarters in Rolling Meadows.
About 100 business, chamber and village officials welcomed the Landsberg, Germany,-based company. The company had been in Schaumburg for the past seven years but decided to move to Rolling Meadows for a more high-tech office and demonstration center, said Rational USA President Markus Glueck.
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"Our mission is to go into every North American kitchen and replace their traditional cooking equipment," Glueck said.
Rational invested about $3 million in the new location, which offers about 20,000 square feet of demonstration areas, a test kitchen, offices and a customer call center. The company has a workforce of about 70, including 30 who moved into the Rolling Meadows site in late January. Other workers who sell the oven are scattered nationwide.
Rational makes and sells a combination oven that uses both steam for moist heat and convection with dry heat at the same time. A patented technology also senses what is happening inside the oven by gauging the moisture content of the food. So it can adjust the heat and timing until the food is thoroughly cooked, said Glueck.
Besides the White House, Rational ovens are used at Walmart and Target stores that have grocery supercenters, as well as at the Fairmont Hotel in downtown Chicago, among other places.
Glueck said they chose the Rolling Meadows site over other towns, including Chicago, because it kept their longtime workforce intact and they remained close to O'Hare International Airport for visitors and potential customers.
Having Rational move into Rolling Meadows helps boost the community by bringing out-of-town business visitors, who can enjoy their stay, as well as boost the suburb's visibility, said Linda Liles Ballantine, executive director of the Rolling Meadows Chamber of Commerce.
"The Continental Towers here can now showcase this company here and show how beautiful an office can be," Ballantine said.