Restaurant owner sets up taxi service

Advent Carousel: Irfan Shabir of Maazi, who are offering a 10% discount from Sunday to Thursday on all meals from the a la carte menu during the festive season.
Advent Carousel: Irfan Shabir of Maazi, who are offering a 10% discount from Sunday to Thursday on all meals from the a la carte menu during the festive season.

A driven businessman hopes to offer Matlock residents a cheaper way to get out and about in the New Year.

Irfan Shabir, who owns Maazi Indian restaurant in Matlock, has already set up a free taxi service for customers living within a seven–mile radius of his business – and has plans to expand it in January.

“People struggle for taxi services in Matlock and generally in the area so I teamed up with a local taxi company and we are offering a free pick up service to the restaurant.” Irfan launched the scheme last week in the busy run–up to the Christmas period, but is also looking into offering a subsidised taxi service for people wanting to travel in the Matlock area in the New Year.

The expanded taxi scheme would be available for anyone wanting to travel within a seven–mile radius of Matlock and Irfan claims it would offer cheaper fares because it would make up the difference with advertising.

“So the cars would have a roof rack promoting local businesses,” he explained.

“I think it could be a goer as long as we could keep up with the advertising.

“We’d be offering people a service that isn’t always available as there is a struggle to find taxis at the right price.”

Irfan came up with the idea when walking through London and seeing how taxis are used there for advertising.

The restaurant–owner has already run the idea past his customers and says it has been popular.

“The feedback I have had from people has been really good,” he added.

“For young people especially it’s a £20 or £30 round trip to town on a night out, so if I can help with that and also encourage sensible behaviour then I will. It’s a good safety initiative.”

For more information on Maazi, visit the website www.maazi.co.uk