By Patrick Albrecht
As the tech-obsessed son of a celebrity chef, Patrick Albrecht was never destined to take a traditional path to success. Albrecht attended college in Europe, where he racked up business, computer science and culinary degrees. He spent the next 12 years there, working at some of the top restaurant kitchens and Michelin starred restaurants throughout Europe. Eventually, he made the move back to the US, where he and his father opened up a handful of restaurants in Atlanta.
Despite being a well-known restaurateur, Albrecht always had a passion for technology and made sure that his restaurants had the newest, top-of-the line tech and gadgets to seamlessly run his businesses. It was here in Atlanta when Albrecht received an unexpected call from the Head of Business at Apple.
The iPhone was still a hot new commodity at this time, and Apple caught wind of a recent interview Albrecht had done around his business and the tech he was using – they were blown away by what he was doing with the new iPhone. Shortly after that call, 15 Apple employees show up in Atlanta with a video crew to shoot a commercial about Albrecht and his usage of the first iPhone. Before jetting back to California, the Head of Business at Apple tells Albrecht that they think he’s in the wrong industry, and to give them a call if he wants to explore the tech realm.
“I thought he was crazy,” Albrecht said. “I had 350 employees. I was a restaurant guy. I thought about it hard, but didn’t take the chance.”
Ten years later, Albrecht finally made that call.
Following the phone call he placed to Apple, Albrecht founded his own company soon after – The Tech Brat – where he works as an IT consultant, with Apple frequently passing inquiries and jobs along (even enabling him to work with Gordon Ramsay for his kitchen tech!). Albrecht now works with every kind of company as their IT guy, from two-person plumbing operations to massive global organizations.
Albrecht was already a huge fan of Evernote during his time in the restaurant business, and it was through Evernote that he was first introduced to Fujitsu’s ScanSnap scanners. He often saw ScanSnap mentioned in articles in relationship to Evernote – how its software would connect to the third party app for seamless scanning and saving. While speaking at a conference on behalf of Evernote, where he widely praised and recommended ScanSnap, he was approached by the ScanSnap team in attendance which blossomed into a long term relationship.
“Before all these notes that we have built into our operating systems, [Evernote] was the leader, and ScanSnap was mentioned frequently in blog posts and columns about the link in its software that would connect to Evernote,” said Albrecht. “I’d read about the no jamming thing which was a big one for me going back to the restaurant business. Endless amounts of invoices, receipts and constant paperwork, so a regular scanner wasn’t cutting it.”
He couldn’t believe the amount of time he was able to save upon implementing ScanSnap into his business. The first scanner he purchased from ScanSnap was the S1500M about nine years ago, and he hasn’t looked back since. Now, as an IT consultant, one of the biggest issues he sees his clients running into is paper, and ScanSnap is always his first suggestion to go completely paperless. His clients generally have some all-in-one scanner or copier that just isn’t doing the job and it is the cause of significant frustration in the workplace.
“The first thing I do is ScanSnap. We get those in – the iX1500 – and everyone is just blown away. The speed. It doesn’t jam, it’s a standalone device,” Albrecht said. He continued, “I push the paperless thing hard. I’m going to medical centers where they have tons of paper – heavy customer charts, rooms full of filing cabinets. We get all that stuff digitized – I bring several ScanSnaps, three of four of them, and we just scan all day and get a whole room scanned in. After that, it’s just maintenance.”
Albrecht finds that his clients often had no idea such an advanced level of scanning existed, and once they implement it into their business, their workflow is exponentially more seamless, saving hours upon hours of work.
So following successful and impressive careers in both culinary and tech, what’s next for Albrecht?
“On a yacht with a billion dollars and an international DJ,” he jokes. Albrecht continues that he plans to expand The Tech Brat – hire additional staff and continue providing high quality service with simple solutions that the customers can understand, without breaking the bank.
“To continue changing lives, getting people in the digital age. And obviously, ScanSnap is a major part of that.”