Lakou Café

"With Indeed, I definitely get at least 10 times more applicants."

Cassandre Davilmar, Founder Lakou Café
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A Haitian-American café needed experienced restaurant staff who could get out a lot of food — fast. Without a strong background in hospitality herself, the cafe’s founder turned to Indeed to hire highly experienced cooks that could bring her vision to life.

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Background: A community café making an impact

Lakou Cafe owner headshot
Lakou Café is a Black-owned, woman-owned café and community events space in Crown Heights, Brooklyn, serving up Haitian smoothies, crepes, kava drinks and small bites, and hosting wellness events on topics like spiritually and self-care. Cassandre Davilmar opened the café in 2018 to make a positive impact in the historic area of Crown Heights called Weeksville — the first Black, freedmen’s neighborhood in Brooklyn.

“I wanted to help bring back more businesses to the neighborhood to get people to really come together,” says Cassandre, “Because if we’re able to come together, then we can make the neighborhood better.”

Challenge: Hiring highly experienced restaurant staff

Cassandre’s background as a lawyer, investment banker and entrepreneur meant she understood the business side of opening a restaurant. She had a beautiful café space, the ingredients and the motivation — but no experience in the hospitality industry. This made it a challenge to find talented cooks with the right level of experience and culinary skills needed to hit the ground running.

“We really needed to find some cooks who [could] get out a lot of food very fast. It couldn’t be somebody who didn’t have the skillset,” Cassandre explains.

When the methods she’d been using to source and attract candidates kept falling short, Cassandre turned to Indeed. Her goal? Build a team of highly experienced people who could 1) serve up quality Caribbean-inspired food and drink and 2) help bridge her hospitality skill gap to make her business a success.

lakou cafe

Solution: Increased volume and quality for crucial roles

By sponsoring her open jobs on Indeed, Cassandre was able to attract more candidates than she ever could using other sourcing methods. “With Indeed, I definitely get at least 10 times more applicants,” she explains.

A Sponsored Job appears more often in relevant job seeker search results and is more likely to be seen by a quality candidate than a free job listing. Because of this, employers like Cassandre are 4.5x more likely to make a hire when they sponsor their job.*

"With Indeed, it really just helps [make] it easier to find the candidates that I need."

Cassandre Davilmar, Founder
Lakou Café

Indeed’s screening tools also helped Cassandre sift through job applicants to make the right hires faster. For example, she used screener questions to narrow down her candidate pool. Screener questions are short questions candidates answer during the application process to help you determine if they meet your hiring criteria upfront (e.g., Do you have a food handler license?). Jobs with screener questions are 40% more likely to result in a hire.**

She also used Indeed Assessments, which are ready-to-use skills tests that can help you learn more about a candidate’s skills and experience. Examples of assessments include Food Service: Customer Situations, Cooking Skills: Basic Food Preparation and Attention to Detail.

“I didn’t realize that Indeed was going to be such a great place to find great candidates for the hospitality industry,” Cassandre explains.

Results: Quality hires with 10+ years of experience

One candidate on Indeed really stood out to Cassandre and the Lakou Café team and was hired on as Lakou Café’s Chef/Assistant Manager. “I had a few candidates but this particular person definitely stood out,” says Cassandre. Her experience, culinary skills and work ethic were the perfect match.

According to Cassandre, “[…] finding cooks with ten years of experience who want to work at our little café has been really humbling and awesome because they’ve brought so much more to the table than I could’ve brought.”

The employees she’s hired from Indeed are now using their expertise to help screen candidates so that the Lakou Café team continues to grow in the right direction.


Indeed helps businesses like Lakou Café find the right candidates by providing tools that help employers manage hiring from start to finish — post your job, interview candidates and make offers all on Indeed.

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Source: *Indeed data (worldwide)

**Indeed data (WW), Average over Q2 2021