David Bitton is the Owner and Managing Director of The Bitton Group. A French- born and trained chef, his career has spanned over 30 years in fine dining establishments around the world.
David, together with his wife Sohani, founded Bitton in 2000. Since then the business has grown exponentially with the launch of a product range of the same name, a small business consultancy, Bitton Consulting in 2011 and the opening of a second café, Bitton Oatley in 2016. The Bitton Group continues to be a family owned business and consistently draws influence from David’s French and Moroccan heritage and Sohani’s South African Indian background.
David's philosophy and approach to food and ultimately his business, is to provide people with a feeling of coming home, of being able to relax and enjoy their meal in the company of good friends.
As a child, his mother would welcome and cook for large numbers of people. Not for a special occasion, instead for the company and enjoyment that comes with the preparing and eating of seasonal produce with friends and family. His cooking comes from that sense of ‘open house’ where the host welcomes his guests to the table and introduces them to the passion he feels for the produce and in the preparation of dishes. His philosophy is reflected in his flagship Bitton Cafe & Bistro in the Sydney suburb of Alexandria. People from all walks of life are welcomed at the café that has become a community hub and sanctuary for people. Whether they drop in for a coffee, meet up with friends, are mums and babies catching up for play dates, special occasion lunches or relaxed dinners, Bitton is the centre of the community. It is in this spirit that my recipes are formed.
David's career has taken him all over the world however it was serindipity that lead him to Australia. It was here that he met his wife and business partner, South African born Sohani who has Indian heritage. Together they forged successful careers in the hospitality world however took a huge leap of faith and gave it all up to start their own little coffee shop in what was then a very industrial Alexandria. What has followed so far is a fascinating story of success in an industry that sees so many establishments come and go every year. Both David and Sohani will admit that the story so far has not been without its lows however those experiences have only fuelled their big plans for the future.
David as a Speaker
David is a regular on the speaker circuit with his unique insight into "Cooking up a Brand" - how to create a culture of a big brand in small business. Having arrived in Australia with nothing more than $1000 and a suitcase, he will take you through his journey so far and how he built Bitton from a tiny 10 seater café into an iconic 100 seater café and bistro, product range, consultancy business and his big plans for the future. Drawing on both success and oversight, David talks of his professional and personal highs and lows with humour and honesty.
David is a regular speaker with:
- Alliance Francaise
- The University of Sydney - Marketing faculty
- French Australian Chamber of Commerce
- Entrepreneurs Organisation
- Ted Talks
- Ronald MacDonald
- University of NSW
- private corporate events such as Ernst & Young, Shoes of Prey, Red Balloon
For any enquiries into speaking engagements, please contact [email protected].
“After spending the semester studying French Popular Culture, David’s participation in the classroom was the perfect link to demonstrate the innate bond between food and culture for the French people. David’s personalised presenting style of sharing his own life experience with the history of food and culture in France was both compelling and highly informative. His passion for food and sharing of his culture was clear though his energetic and inclusive delivery which was inspiring and a pleasure to be a part of. David Bitton is the full package when it comes to an engaging, relatable and enthusiastic speaker.“
Camille Booker, Course convenor and lecturer, French Popular Culture, University of New South Wales
Ronald McDonald House, Randwick
"David is a genuine and truly brilliant speaker. He captivates and entertains his audience, blending his knowledge and experience with the right amount of humour! David's passion to our cause and to ensuring his audience is completely engaged is fabulous...I would recommend him time and time again." Carolyn Townsend
"We loved having David here at the Alliance Française. We have received nothing but positive feedback of the event and our guests were truly delighted and inspired by how David and his wife set up a business from scratch and turned it into a renowned brand. He is a fantastic speaker and if you plan on building your own small business, I would strongly recommend attending one his consulting services or talks." Camille Comtat
Ernst & Young
"I wanted my team to understand what great customer service looked like, felt like and where it came from. I thought of David Bitton because he and his team deliver his passion for food and service to everyone who comes into his restaurant and café. David’s talent goes beyond serving a coffee or selling a jar of strawberry and vanilla jam, he delivers an experience and that is a powerful association with his brand. David shared his perspectives on brand and business development with my team who were enlivened and inspired by David’s engaging discussion. It was a great experience."
Wayne Parcell PSM | Partner | People Advisory Services
Oceania Leader, Global Immigration | MARN 9790656
Ernst & Young
The University of Sydney Business School
"After attending David Bitton’s recent guest lecture as part of the Business School’s introductory marketing unit of study it became apparent to me that lecturing or public speaking comes very naturally to David. The 200+ students who attended the lecture were entertained by David’s honest and very personal story of how he’s managed to build a business and a brand from the ground up. He delivered his very interesting story while adeptly weaving academic marketing theories and frameworks into the content. It was obvious through the Q&A session that students were clearly able to relate to the practical knowledge and experience David was able to share with them. I would highly recommend David as a guest speaker, he is very knowledgeable in his area of expertise and he has a very relatable story to share. "
Careers Services Manager - External Relations, The Careers & Employability Office
David hosts groups of French students regularly at his cafes. Students are invited to come along, hear a little of David's business story and then order breakfast or lunch in French and enjoy their meal while conversing in the language they are learning. It's a great excursion - unique, entertaining, educational and loved by students, teachers and David! Call the Head Office on 95195111 (option 1) to enquire.
Here's what some of the teachers have to say about it:
"We have been taking our Year 10 and Year 11 students to Bittons for some years now to practice their French and sample modern French cuisine. They love it! The staff always do their utmost to make the experience authentic. Year 10 enjoy a three-course meal and Year 11 have breakfast. In the words of one of our year 10 students: "The meal was an inspiring event that allowed us to experience a huge part of French culture - French cuisine - first hand. It definitely satisfied our hunger for both knowledge and delectable food!""
Corinne Grant, Head Teacher Languages, Sydney Girls High School
"A huge thank you from myself and Yr 11 Food Technology students from Santa. Debbie, Renata and myself would particularly like to thank you for sharing your story with us. Real stories are what resonate with young people and you really connected with them. Thank you again."
Maria Saliba, Technology and Applied Studies Teacher, Santa Sabina College