Purpose The purpose of this paper is to focus on the effects of indoor plants on customers' shopping decisions in the restaurant environment. Design/methodology/approach The assumption of the research is that there is a relationship between restaurants where indoor plants are used and the customers' shopping decisions (restaurant entry and purchase). A hypothetical study was performed to test this assumption that was based on the digital images of two different restaurants (restaurant with and restaurant without indoor plants) modelled in a virtual environment. The Likert scale questionnaire used in this study was completed by 335 participants. Findings Results indicated that restaurants designed with indoor plants had a more positive effect on the shopping decisions of participants than restaurants designed without indoor plants. The statistically significant results between evaluations of customers and their demographic backgrounds were determined. The male participants with a 26-35 age range showed more positive opinions about the plant designed restaurants than female participants with a 36-55 age range. Also, higher education graduate participants showed more positive opinions about the plant designed restaurant than secondary education graduate participants. Originality/value This paper reveals a significant relationship between restaurant design and shopping decisions. Results of the study suggest that retailers and designers may be able to make easily stores more appealing for customers by designing them with indoor plants.