My work means that I stay in a fair number of hotels. All of them, pretty much without exception, will operate a breakfast buffet. Although there are very minor variations in the rules of the buffet between establishments, effectively the thing is a free-for-all. You're shown to your table and then immediately abandon it in search of food. (TV funnyman Michael McIntyre does an amusing routine about this phenomenon.)
Before you're shown to your seat, however, it's quite common to be asked whether this particular hotel has previously had the pleasure of your company at le petit déjeuner.
The desperate member of staff hopes that you will reply in the affirmative, as this relieves them of having to recite a speech in which they tell you that... err... basically the buffet is a free-for-all.
As a guest, it's worth saying yes, even if you've never been to the place before. The recital often starts as follows: "We are operating a buffet breakfast today."
You mean it wasn't a buffet yesterday? And tomorrow you'll be returning to full silver service, with smoked salmon and poached eggs cooked to order and delivered to my table?
Why do I ALWAYS arrive on the self-service day?