Why does everyone think that to make a good living by cooking, you have to work in a restaurant or hotel? There are a whole lot of careers out there that foster the creative cook and pay them well. I didn't start making any real money until I left the restaurant race. There is a great book, Careers for Gourmets and Others Who Love Food by Mary Donovan, which goes into detail about recipe developers, food marketing experts, food writers and editors, photographers, stylists, etc. etc.
The problem most chefs have in making the transition, from what I've seen, is that they are creative in their thinking about the food itself, but not creative in a marketing sense. It's hard for them to think about food outside the parameters of the restaurant. They need to think within the context of the consumer's needs and limitations---time, money, skill, experience, market availability, nutritional requirements, just to name a few.
I believe that the resturant industry is polarizing itself in the same way US socio-economics is. There is a concentration of high-end establishments with celebrity chefs, "food as art" and high ticket prices that cater to the richest 1% of the population. Then there is the bulk of TGI Fridays, McD, Sizzlers etc. that cater to the greater hoard. What's dying is the good quality, fresh food, chef-owner, slow-food type dining that is the middle class of food service. This nuts and bolts driver of the industry is being replaced by HMR (home meal replacement) business in grocery stores and Boston Market.
As long as the motivation of young chefs is to be the next Bobby Flay (don't you just want to make him to earn that last name?) this polarization will continue.