8 reasons why you should use live plants in your restaurant or café

When restaurant entrepreneurs think about restaurant decoration, they usually consider the restaurant interior design and restaurant furniture. But there are other aspects that restaurant entrepreneurs should pay attention to when it comes to restaurant decoration.

These aspects include restaurant lighting, restaurant artwork & fine art, restaurant music, restaurant theme (if you have one), restaurant cleanliness and of course, live plants in restaurants.

The use of adding dining room greenery in restaurants is not new; people have been using them for decades to improve the atmosphere, and even increase wellbeing while eating their meals. 

While #urbanjungle and biophilic design are trending themes on Instagram right now, with restaurants and cafes feeling more like a jungle than an eatery.

Check out this bar in San Francisco reviving the “fern bar” look of the 70s.  


It’s a massively popular aesthetic, but there are also lots of other reasons why using plants in your restaurant decor is a good thing. 

Here are 8 reasons why we believe café and restaurant owners should consider adding live plants to their decor.

1. Plants improve air quality

Air quality

According to a NASA experiment in the 80s, houseplants can help remove pollutants, toxins and mould spores from the air. They discovered that plants like the Boston fern and Golden Pothos were great at removing pollutants from the air in laboratory conditions.

While the jury is still out on whether they can make a substantial impact in an indoor setting, they definitely have some impact.

This is especially important in the pandemic era - and even if you don’t have the space for a full-blown jungle, a few plants will at least achieve the effect of a ventilated and “fresh” space.

2. They provide a natural way to decorate your restaurant without spending money

restaurant plants

By using live plants as restaurant decoration you can make your restaurant interior design projects more eco-friendly and low budget at the same time because live plants don't cost much money to maintain even if you have a large restaurant. 

Hanging plants can easily create a more cosy space for restaurants with high ceilings like this “botanical punk” styled cafe Red Roaster in Brighton.

In this image, greenery is used as accents and to create special areas in The Botanist restaurant, Canada

Business owners have already created many stunning restaurant concepts by incorporating live plants into their restaurant design ideas.

3. Plants can help reduce stress levels and create a calming atmosphere for your diners

Plants can reduce stress

In recent years, studies have shown that indoor plants can improve your mood and even boost productivity and creativity.

Greenery helps us feel relaxed. Urban jungles became so popular in the pandemic because they helped transformed our indoor environments into a space to enjoy, thrive and relax in.

Scent is also important to mood and creating an inviting space. Why not try adding fragrant herbs to your planting design or adding them to tabletops to delight your customers?

Jasmine and gardenia have an incredible scent. Or why not try a scented orange or lemon geranium?

4. Plants are a great way to show your customers that you care about their health

Plants provide a visual clue that you care about the cleanliness and atmosphere in your restaurant - and hopefully your hygiene too! 

“They also make a visual connection for guests about the freshness of your ingredients.” Upserve

5. Plants can attract new customers

Plants in a cafe

In a study done in July last year by the International Journal of Retail & Distribution Management, researchers found that having indoor plants in restaurants made stores more appealing.

In addition, plant-filled restaurants have been proven to attract new customers who are looking for a calming, aesthetically pleasing space to spend time in, not just eat food. 

Having plants indoors can also give the effect of feeling like a safe outdoor space - something that all of us are thinking and worrying about constantly since being in lockdown. 

With plants, you can completely transform the atmosphere of your restaurant and make it a place for people to want to dwell, enjoy and share with others.

6. They can complement your restaurant brand

Whether you are running a small eatery or global catering business, your local café or international airport terminal coffee shop, your brand identity can be reinforced with restaurant decor. 

Adding greenery will not only brighten up your restaurant but will also enhance your restaurant’s interior design.

We love how Bar Botanique has strategically placed tropical palm trees, bird of paradise, philodendron and ferns to complement its rainforest aesthetic.


With such a range of indoor plants to choose from, there will definitely be a plant or group of plants that will fit your brand. 

You could have plants that match your cuisine, Italian olive trees or Sicilian lemon trees. French lavender. British ivy. Vegetables and herbs on tables for vegan restaurants. 

If you are going for something minimal, why not choose cacti or some architectural plants like the Snake Plant. 

If your restaurant is trying to evoke a specific era why not check what plants were popular back then?

Looking for something delicate and feminine to complement a cafe - what about String of Pearls, or air plants hanging from the wall?

7. Houseplants can help with noise reduction

House plants reduce noise reduction

One common complaint about restaurants is that they are too noisy! 

What’s the cheapest way to fix this? Plants. 

Plants can help reduce noise levels and absorb sound waves in your restaurant. They do this by helping to absorb sounds in the leaves or wood. They can also refract noise to reduce echoes. 

Plants with a large surface area will be particularly good for noise absorption. The more plants you have the better!

You could use plants to create partitions between diners or add large planters around the perimeter so as sound bounces off the walls it gets absorbed by the plants.

8. They make your space desirable and "instagrammable"

Many restaurants recently started using live plants for restaurant decor to boost their restaurant image on social media platforms like Instagram. 

Plants can create impressive backdrops for your diners and soften harder architectural elements or hide unsightly features. 

Plants increase the likelihood customers are going to use it to create content for their social media. 

Plant walls are great for creating natural photographic backdrops too.

Plants in a restaurant


It's easy to see why restaurant entrepreneurs are choosing restaurant decor with plant-filled restaurant concepts because they are proven to increase restaurant sales while helping them stand out from other restaurants in town.

Plants can help boost your guests' wellbeing, reduce stress and give them a place to take photos to share with friends.

Plants are also great for enhancing and complementing your brand identity and creating focal points or disgusting certain areas of your restaurant.

But before you start buying up a load of plants, check your lighting and heating conditions are first. 

If you have large windows, tropical plants do well. If you have doors opening constantly and cold draughts or dark corners you may want something more resilient. If you want to decorate a space near the kitchen and have a lot of humidity then you may want rainforest dwellers. 

So why not have some plants as your silent restaurant business partner?

If you need help picking the right indoor plants or coming up with a green design concept, then get in touch. Call us now on 07581 191 188 or email plants@thegreeneast.co.uk.