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Turning away customers when you have unreserved tables; happens in France to unstarred/unhearted/untoqued places?

John Talbott | Mar 26, 201501:40 PM

So tonight, in Mestre, 10 minutes from Venice, I reserved and walked in to my marked table; 15 minutes later two visitors from the East came in and while there were unreserved tables, the chef-owner said "Nope" or the Italian equivalent. It was not racist, because he'd done the same to me 4 years ago when I forgot to reserve.
I sorta get the principle; we're a good place, reserve or else, but letting a table go empty?
In Paris I've only seen it in "hot" new places; Others?

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