How to Get a BEP Vendor License
To be licensed as a Food Service Manager in Florida:
- You must be legally blind,
- You must be a client of the Florida Division of Blind Services,
- Be at least 18 years of age,
- Be a United States citizen,
- Have a high school diploma or GED,
- Pass a physical exam,
- Submit to and pass a Level 2 Criminal Background Screening,
- Successfully complete Florida Business Enterprise training and licensing requirements.
Individuals who do not meet these requirements are not eligible for the program.
Those who successfully complete training may apply for licensing as a food service manager through the Florida Business Enterprise Program. Once licensed, you are eligible to bid on specific business opportunities.
- You compete with other candidates for a specific food service business opportunity.
- You are selected based on your skills, performance, and experience.
- You are contracted with the state as an independent contractor to serve as the division's agent to operate the specific facility.
- Contact your DBS counselor and express your interest in finding out more about the Business Enterprise (BEP). Your counselor will explain the different types of facilities (vending operations, cafeterias, and snack bars), the application requirements, and timeline related to training.
- Afterwards, if you feel this is something you wish to pursue, your counselor will schedule you for a vocational assessment.
- The counselor will then review the results from the vocational assessment, as well as the results from training assessments/evaluations conducted by the local CRP, to determine if you qualify as a candidate for the BEP program.
- If you meet the minimum qualifications, the counselor will next schedule a meeting for you with the Regional BEP Business Consultant. The Business Consultant will explain the BEP program including training, licensure, types of facilities, realistic timetable for advancement, and potential income levels.
- You will need to complete a Business Enterprise Program application and submit it to your VR counselor along with copies of the required eligibility documents. These include U.S. citizenship, at least eighteen (18) years of age, high school diploma or GED, a physical exam, and confirmation of legal blindness.
- A Level II criminal background check is required for all BEP participants. Your counselor will provide assistance and instructions with this process.
- An assessment interview will be set up via telephone conference call with the Business Consultant, the Committee of Vendors Chairperson (or designee), and the BEP Bureau Chief or Operations Manager.
- If the Interview Panel recommends you for BEP training program, a ten (10) day work experience will be scheduled with a local BEP vendor. This work experience will help you determine if this is a vocation you wish to pursue while it also allows the BEP to receive an assessment of your work from an experienced operator.
- Once you complete the work experience, you will be enrolled in a eighteen (18) week training program at our Daytona Beach campus.
- Finally, after you've completed training at Daytona Beach, you will be assigned On-the Job-Training (OJT), which may take between 4-10 weeks to complete.
Once you have a BEP vendor license, you may apply for an available facility. Read about the Vendor Selection Process to find out how it works.