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The Business Enterprises of Texas (BET) was created through federal legislation, the Randolph-Sheppard Act of 1936, which was enacted to "provide blind persons with remunerative employment, enlarging the economic opportunities of the blind, and stimulating the blind to greater efforts in striving to make themselves self-supporting." BET administers one of the largest vending and food service programs operated by people who are legally blind in the United States under the Randolph-Sheppard Act.  BET provides individuals with visual impairment self-employment opportunities throughout the State of Texas.


BET provides training and entrepreneurial employment opportunities for legally blind individuals in food service and vending operations within Texas. BET training includes operational skills training with an emphasis in food service and vending management, quality customer service, menu planning, cost control, and merchandising. BET opportunities include the operation of cafeterias, convenience stores, snack bars, micro markets and vending machines on state and federal properties, interstate highway rest areas, post offices and state prisons.

Candidates for BET Training must be legally blind by federal standards, a United States citizen, and a customer of TWC/VR. Candidates must be self-motivated, have strong mobility and independent living skills, organizational skills, excellent customer service skills, and the physical and emotional stamina to meet the tough demands of operating a business as a sole proprietor.

You may be eligible for Business Enterprises of Texas (BET) services if you are:

  • Legally blind according to federal standards 
  • A U.S. citizen
  • Physically present in the State of Texas
  • Age 18 or older
  • A high school graduate or holder of a GED
  • In good general health and have current eye and physical examination records 
  • Successfully complete BET training and licensing requirements.

To qualify, Texas Workforce Commission (TWC) Vocational Rehabilitation staff must refer you to the BET program. Individuals who do not meet these requirements are not eligible for the program.

In addition to meeting the eligibility criteria above, you must be able to fulfill the following requirements:

  • Stand for 10 hours or more, daily
  • Bend, stoop and twist without injury to self or others
  • Lift 35 pounds regularly, and up to 50 pounds upon occasions
  • Work approximately 40-hours per week 
  • Successfully complete all BET assessment and training requirements
  • Have and know how to use all devices and assistive technologies required for BET training and operation of an assigned facility, including low vision aids, talking calculator with earpiece, accessible thermometer, note taking equipment and a computer
  • Have proper clothing, business casual, for the classroom and work sites

BET Candidates will receive training and instruction in BET operations, procedures, and management skills:

  • Business Best Practices, Instruction at College-Level
  • BET Standard Accounting Procedures and Forms
  • Cost Control Management
  • Customer Service Principles
  • On-Site-Training (OST) Training at A BET Facility, Provided by a successful licensed BET Manager
  • Skills Training, Provided by A BET Training Specialist

Training helps you:

  • Learn to work alone or in a team, show leadership and teamwork
  • Be organized, come to work on time, handle stress, and meet deadlines
  • Solve problems and use equipment properly
  • Manage inventory purchases, maintain records, and money management
  • Sufficient communication skills
  • Improve customer service
  • Handle food safely
  • Hire, train, and manage employees according to labor laws

The Texas Workforce Commission has the authority under Texas Administrative Code Chapter 854 to license blind individuals. These licenses are for operating food service or vending facilities. These facilities are located on various properties, including state, federal, and others.

To support its operation, BET receives:

  • Federal funds
  • The program also is funded by an allowable fee assessed on the earnings and commissions of the BET licensed managers. 

Authorizing laws, regulations and guidance include:

The BET Elected Committee of Managers helps program administrators with advice on changes. They also try to create more food service jobs for Texans who are blind.