Carlton & Rational – A Partnership for Professionals

As a leading service provider to the catering industry, we are proud to be Rational Trained Service Engineers.

Alongside our numerous other industry recognised certifications and accreditations which includes Mitsubishi, Refcom and Foster approval as well as FGAS, GasSafe, Safe Contractor and Construction Line, our Rational approved status is yet another reason why Carlton Services is the number one choice for catering establishments throughout the South West of England.

In this article, we look at the Rational brand and why it is considered a leading name in large-scale commercial catering.

 Carlton Catering

Rational in numbers

40 Years in the professional catering market

496.7 million Euros profit in 2015

8% increase in profits year on year

54% market share for hot food preparation units – that’s one in two units worldwide.

Distribution in 5 continents

Used in over 3 Million professional kitchens worldwide

100 Million meals a day prepared with Rational equipment

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Carlton Catering 3Where you can find Rational

The Rational customer base is vast and covers an incredible range of catering establishments including:

  • Michelin-starred and other restaurants
  • Hotels
  • Company canteens
  • Hospitals
  • Schools
  • Universities
  • Military facilities
  • Prisons
  • Senior citizen homes
  • Fast-food chains
  • Caterers
  • Supermarkets
  • Butchers shops
  • Bakeries
  • Snack outlets


A brief history

Rational is a specialist in hot food preparation in the world’s professional kitchens with a success story that dates back over 40 years. They were first established in 1973 as a company producing and selling hot air units in Germany. Three years later, they launched their first combi steamer, setting their business model for decades to come. Over the years that followed, the company expanded into the French, Japanese and American markets, with continuous research and development to improve their combi-steamer technology.

A key milestone for the Rational company came in 1997, with the invention of  the RATIONAL ClimaPlus Combi® – The first combi-steamer with product specific regulation of the cooking cabinet climate to one percent accuracy for perfect cooking results.

Following this groundbreaking development, Rational quickly expanded into new territory including Italy, Canada, Switzerland, Scandinavia and Spain.

Their reputation for innovation continued with their next key development in 2000, with the launch of CleanJet® – The world’s first fully automatic self-cleaning system guarantees spotless hygiene at the push of a button.

After listing on the German stock exchange in 2000, Rational continued to maintain their pace in both expansion of sales regions and research and development of new technologies. New introductions to the catering market since then include:


  • 2004  – Invention of the world’s first SelfCooking Center® – select food, select browning from light to dark, cooking level from rare to well done.
  • 2005 –  Invention of the world’s first VarioCooking Center® by the FRIMA subsidiary company. Boiling, pan-frying and deep frying in a single unit, three times as fast, 40% less power
  • 2011 – Invention of the world’s first SelfCookingCenter® whitefficiency® with HiDensityControl®
  • 2014 – Invention of the world’s first SelfCookingCenter® 5 Senses – the only cooking system with 5 senses


In addition to their innovative technological solutions, Rational have invested heavily over the last two decades in developing training for kitchen professionals, including the establishment of the Academy RATIONAL – which provides intensive training in how to use the SelfCooking Center® on a daily basis, by kitchen professionals for kitchen professionals. 2013 also saw the opening of a new training centre in Landsberg am Lech, Germany.

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The final word

Whether you are familiar with the Rational brand or not, the chances are that you have come into contact with food that has been prepared with Rational technology, be it as a caterer or a customer.

For more information about professional service for Rational and all other leading catering brands, give one of our regional offices a call now to talk to an expert, or contact us online for a quick response.

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