Demel (colloquially der Demel) is a famous pastry shop and chocolaterie established in 1786 in Vienna, Austria. The company bears the title of a Purveyor to the Imperial and Royal Court (k.u.k. Hofzuckerbäcker) up to today.
The building is located in the central Innere Stadt district on Kohlmarkt 14 near Hofburg Palace. The interior was designed by Portois and Fix decorators in a Neo-baroque style. The white-aproned waitresses — the Demelinerinnen — usually address the customers in a traditional honorific third person style, "Haben schon gewählt?" or "Wollen etwas zu sich nehmen, wenn belieben?" The cabaret artist Helmut Qualtinger extolled their timeless quality in his song Die Demelinerinnen.
The k.k. Hofzuckerbäckerei pastry shop was founded on Michaelerplatz by Ludwig Dehne, a confectioner from Württemberg. Upon his early death in 1799, the business was continued by his widow for their minor son August Dehne. In 1813 she purchased the house on Michaelerplatz 14. August Dehne inherited the company in 1832 and successfully managed the business, however, as his son pursued an academic career, he sold the company to his journeyman Christoph Demel in 1857.
Renamed Ch. Demel's Söhne in 1867, Christoph Demel's sons Joseph and Karl continued the business and were granted the title of a purveyor to the Habsburg court by Emperor Franz Joseph I of Austria in 1874. When in 1888 the old Burgtheater on Michaelerplatz was demolished combined with a general refurbishment of the whole square, they moved the confectionery around the corner to Kohlmarkt, where the company is still located today in its original building. In the heyday of the Austro-Hungarian monarchy, notable customers included Empress Elisabeth (Sisi), Princess Pauline von Metternich, and actress Katharina Schratt. During the Austrian Anschluss to Nazi Germany 1938–45, the Vienna Gauleiter Baldur von Schirach and his wife Henriette were regulars here.
The company was headed by Demel's heirs until 1972, when the entrepreneur Udo Proksch bought it and established the Club 45 on the first floor, a popular venue of the Vienna high society. After Proksch was arrested for his involvement in the Lucona affair in 1989, the Raiffeisen Bank became the owner of the famous company. In 2002 the Do & Co restaurants and catering company took over Demel.